Top 5 things Trump is doing to us Worse than insulting Mika

by Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Yes, Trump’s gratuitous Twitter insult to newswoman Mika Brzezinski was horrible. But US cable news and even a lot of print news are falling down on the job by focusing on these clashes of personality that Trump provokes.

In contrast, corporate news is not doing a good job of covering Trump’s planned tax cuts for the rich at the expense of middle class Americans (Time Warner, Viacom, Comcast and the other media giants would benefit from the tax cuts). They won’t say a word about climate change, even though we only have two or three years to swing into very substantial action in order to prevent climate chaos. They do talk about health care, but their he said-she said model muddies the waters on how all our oxen are about to be gored by Mitch McConnell for the sake of his billionaire buddies.

So here’s what we ought to be talking about.

1. Trump and the GOP Congress are coming for Medicaid.

Medicaid is for low-income and disabled patients. Trump and the GOP are going to kick 15 million people off it and cut $772 billion out of it over 10 years. That is, he is going to leave 15 million people without the care they need to give a tax break to the super-rich. Some of them will suffer. Some of them will die. (Yes.)

Plus they are going to kick 22 million people who have coverage under the ACA off of health insurance by ensuring it is too expensive. They are going to raise your deductibles. Again, hundreds of billions will instead go to the super-rich (I mean mainly to the 600 billionaires in the US. Most of what the GOP does is for those 600 people, and a handful of them don’t even want it). And, again, millions of people will be sicker than they need to be and some will die.

Trumpcare will kill 20,000 people a year by 2025.

Through summer of 2016, ISIL had killed 1200 people outside Syria and Iraq, i.e. in Europe and elsewhere in South Asia and the Middle East.

That is, Trumpcare is 20 times more dangerous in the West than the terror threat of ISIL.

2. Trump has literally taken away the right to clean water.. He is fine if it is full of mercury (a nerve poison released by burning coal) and lead (which causes permanent damage to IQ and attention span in children).

3. Not to mention that he is trying to roll back limitations on toxic carbon dioxide emissions, which because it is a greenhouse gas, are poisoning our planet. Climate change could reduce GDP by 3% a year and plunge the US into a permanent Great Recession. It will hit Texas and the southeast especially hard.

4. Trump would like to kill America’s scientific and technological advantages in the world by slashing funding for science and science research, reducing us to a fourth world country.

5. Trump has deeply endangered US national security by making us a laughingstock and reducing by orders of magnitude the likelihood that any other powers will partner with us in world affairs. The US needs allies and partners, but Trump has told them to jump in a lake, and anyway they can see how flaky he is. Imagine him calling up Emmanuel Macron in France and asking him to join in a military operation! Yet George H. W. Bush was able to call up the Socialist president of France, Francois Mitterand, and convince him to join in the Gulf War to rescue little Kuwait from the clutches of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. When a president now cannot do things on the world stage a president could do only 27 years ago, that is a sign of deep and worrisome decline.


Related video:

Al Franken: Trump tax cut for top 400 would fund Medicaid for 750,000

23 Responses

  1. Trump has cheapened the Presidency by his erratic behavior unbecoming, and totally inappropriate, for a President. He is spending tax payer time going on vicious twitter rants, and wasting time watching television wondering what cable show hosts say about HIM. It has been five months of investigations, unethical practices, nepotism, millions spent on golf trips to HIS golf courses, firings of officials investigating his administration, and accusations of fake news, when he himself sets the agenda with his twitter rants, and the nation also had to watch him attack President Obama and make wild, unsubstantiated accusations against him, with no apologies to follow, and you have to be naive to think that this miserable failure is doing anything for the people in this country. People are sick of this President, and the poll numbers show that. What kind of President has time to go on twitter rants so early in his Presidency? What about the Trumpcare bill, ISIS, jobs, clean water, daily briefings that keeps him updated about our security, and learning to act and be President?

    • Weapons of mass distraction. Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) had a great editorial last week on how Trump’s nasty and vicious outbursts all but require a response, lest silence look like complicity. So he can easily distract the news cycle from Russia, the environment, the tax code, Russia, judicial appointments, Russia, access to medical care, Russia, foreign relations, and of course, Russia.

      He’s the bright shiny object – look, look!

  2. When a president now cannot do things on the world stage a president could do only 27 years ago, that is a sign of deep and worrisome decline. I see less a decline than an adjustment. It is obvious the US cannot rule the world and neocon efforts to do so are like running after an accelerating bus. The alternative which many have not yet grasped is not a world ruled by some other nation but active cooperation between ‘superpowers’ one of which must assuredly be the US. The transition from a concept of single rule to something more cooperative is the kind of process that could be assisted but not ultimately defied. Trump’s decision to take humanitarian and democratic evangelism off the table in his dealings with other nations is a significant contribution since it puts aside US insistence on moral superiority. Trump’s manner and behaviour is also serving to encourage relationships between other nations that bypass the US clearing house. I see this as regenerative rather than worrisome, looking perhaps towards broader, non-commercial globalisation based on mutual respect rather than competitive confrontation. Well, I’m a romantic.

    • You’re a romantic who is clueless about the dark power of White Supremacy and the role of Putin in, however cynically, promoting its acolytes into competitive positions in elections in Western nations in the hopes of destabilizing and discrediting liberal democracy. I’ve had to deal with the rise of these monsters for 30 years, under many disguises carefully tailored by oligarch-funded foundations. Now they’re in the White House. The excuse is always that they only wish to turn America inward and establish White pride at home. And there are plenty of Americans who are seduced by the idea that the benefits of the former will outweigh the sacrifice of minorities and their rights.

      I swear to God, Nicholas, that a race war in America is not going to leave you untouched in Europe. We who will fight it will not let you be untouched, just like the warriors in struggles in minor countries have made a bloody nuisance of themselves in the West to obtain advantages from recruitment to just provoking intervention in the hope that it will breed more hate.

      But even if that didn’t happen, you should consider how the evangelization of White supremacy in the 18th and 19th century led to the wars of the 20th, where the idea promoted that Europeans had the right to enslave and conquer Africans and Asians was refined by demagogues into a similar right for Germans over Poles, etc. That is exactly the opposite environment than what you keep wanting to pull out of Trump’s ass.

  3. Make no mistake, Trump loves the uproar caused by his tweets even if he has to push Melania, Huckabee-Sanders and Kellyanne Conway into the spotlight to announce his misogyny and belittling of women is just the way he defends himself.

    Journalist should get over his tweets and double down on the investigation of his collusion with Russia. They should daily point out the dangers of Trump as shown in this article.

    Even his most ardent supporters have to be made aware this former game show host never had a plan to fight ISIS. He never had a health care plan that was going to reduce premiums and that he really doesn’t give a rip if a cab drive in Nashville has insurance or not.

    The old expression….Don’t get mad…get even! is a better way to expose our accidental president than spending hours on psychological evaluations of his tweets….and plus it will drive him crazy…or crazier.

  4. • Attempting to eradicate President Obama from U.S. history definitely qualifies.

    • Being an openly RACIST •••hole is obvious.

    • Associates with the worst bunch of evil people to ever set foot in Washington.

    • Willingly colludes with a long-time enemy is far too obvious.

    • Being an unqualified 70 year-old spoiled rotten egomaniac manchild is also obvious.

    Professor, you summed it up, correctly. Donald J. Trump and his minions are a threat to the entire planet and especially to the citizens of our country.

    Got it.

    • The Russia of today is not the old Communist enemy. It is a right-wing kleptocracy run by a smarter czar, with flat taxes for the rich and homophobia for the poor. You can’t understand its sudden electoral coup unless you catch up to the American Right’s approving recognition of Putin as one of their own.

      • Yes, I am aware that Russia is everything you wrote but a deadly enemy nevertheless. Especially with one leader desperately insecure regarding his masculinity and the other, a spoiled, uneducated petulant manchild. There is much danger, now.

        I also recognize that the dumbing-down of America is taking it’s intended toll.

  5. Thank you Juan for the comparison of the repeal of the ACA to ISIS. It seems that our democracy has become willfully horrible about risk assessment. Himmelstein and Woolhandler, two very well respected public health policy analysts, had an excellent article in the Washington Post on January 23 (if memory serves), and by their estimate 43,956 (yes, it was that precise) Americans would die annually as a result of the ACA’s repeal. That’s more than one 9/11 a month for this country, and over a decade the rough total of American dead in WWII.

    I have noted this statistic and article before, but it needs to be said over and over. There is no middle ground any more and this is no longer about “honest disagreements” about policy – the GOP is making war against the citizens of this country – period.

    By the way, I have known more than my share of people, my parents included, who would have simply died or become enormous burdens to their families, both in terms of finance and health care, without Medicaid. Saddle the middle and lower classes with that and one wonders how there will be any spare income to fuel any economic growth (apart from the funeral industry).

  6. Per 1. above- Master Bigot and foul-POTUS Donald J. Trump on Friday, 30 June said he may support legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act WHILE HOLDING OFF on any Republican replacement for the 2010 healthcare law.

    link to

    This simple-minded, short-sighted approach offers NO VIABLE REPLACEMENT for 23.5 million citizens. Adding the Medicaid enrollees >41.5 million total have gained health insurance since the Obamacare marketplaces opened in 2013.

    Most will lose it.

    link to

    Many are Trump voters who if late or untreated can’t vote for him, again.

    But to heartless and obsessed BIGOTS like Trump and McConnell, if oblierating a black man’s legacy entails indirectly killing millions of poor people – consider it collateral damage.

  7. Thank you for this article. Trumps tweets only distract and the media should stop giving them such press. They are an embarrassment to our country and an insult to our intelligence. Juan Cole you are spot on when you remind us all what really is at stake.

  8. don’t expect the MSM to deal with some of the real issues facing the U.S.A. Its easier and better for them to avoid the real issues. It keeps the masses entertained when they have interview upon interview to discuss what Trump tweeted today. its a distraction from the real issues of the day. That won’t change because the real news will negatively impact upon them, i.e tax cuts for the rich/corporations.

    the real issues of health care, such as the number of dead is of little concern to corporations. it won’t impact them and having no decent health care will keep taxes low, for them. America has always been survival of the fittest. What most Americans don’t realize is that the financial elite consider all of them expendable. They can always import more.

    • “If they have any dying to do, let them do it now and decrease the surplus population.” – Ebenezer Scrooge

    • True, but children are worse affected.

      Quote from Mayo Clinic website: “Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development.”

  9. Watching Blazing Saddles on Netflix last night I noticed how similar Governor William J. Le Petomane and President Donald Trump are. Le Petomane was a total clown. Trump the same. Hedley Lamarr and Taggart reminded me so much of modern day Trump supporters on the cable news networks. The violence and racism from Taggart and his gang made me think of the NRA and their violent push.


    • Hedley Lamar struck me immediately as Trump’s Bannon. The observation of how every buffoon will have an opportunistic cynic to take advantage of them, is only one of the things that made that movie a timeless work of art.

      Was traveling in South America and found an old copy of Trevanyne, an early Robert Ludlum potboiler (of Jason Bourne fame) from the 1980’s. The scenario of governmental corruption Ludlam painted for those times works for current events every bit as well now: its part of the human condition.

      Art, from sensitive and talented hands, high-lites reality, especially in comedy and satire. We recognize truth and it’s often laughingly obvious once exposed for what it is. I’m waiting for some great art, as opposed to Robert Redford’s sanctimonious lecturing or even reasonable well produced drama’s like the movie Fair Game. It’s a tall order, but this is where the artists make their contribution.

  10. Trumpery is not so much about building a physical wall on our southern border as it is about reinforcing and extending the Great Wall of Disparity dividing us all off from those 600 Super-rich who make up the 1% of the 1% of wealthy Americans who gain from his policies. The tweets are his personal form of the much broader distractions the corporate mass media provide daily. As Robert Schenkkan,s brilliant new play, “Building the Wall” demonstrates, the achievement of a fascist state will come through the creeping engagement of ordinary ‘functionaries’ in the machinations of oppression, ultimately resulting in genocidal practices that remain a core part of the cultural heritage of the corporate state that replaced the unfinished American Revolution.

    Thanks to Juan Cole and others who speak truth to power.

  11. Lets be PERFECTLY CLEAR . . .

    We KNOW, with very good accuracy, just how much of each type of healthcare service we have to provide to the 300+ million humans in the USA. We can not predict exactly who will have a heart attack on any particular day and time, but we have a good idea how many humans in the USA will have one, on average, each and every day of the week.

    What we are arguing about is WHO WILL PAY THE BILL AND HOW MUCH that bill should be.

    The republicans do NOT care how much healthcare costs or who pays as long as the healthcare providers make huge extremes of profit and that wealthy do not contribute a dime toward paying the bill. In other words, they want to screw the American public for fun and profit and transfer as much wealth as possible from the poor to the rich while killing off as many of the riff-raff as possible.

    IF Americans can ever understand this basic idea, then maybe they will realize two things . . .

    – A single risk pool must include every human in the USA to share the payment as fairly as possible. American egos and racism MUST be eliminated so everyone shares in the costs that will happen no matter what we try to do.


    – the risk managers MUST be able to tell the healthcare providers what they will get paid for each and every healthcare event and that trying to “game the system” will result in the healthcare provider going to jail for a large portion of the rest of their lives (at least we will not just shoot them like some countries do).

    In other words, if the USA needs to take all the best features of the “socialist” healthcare systems the rest of the world uses and create a USA “socialism-lite” version.

  12. “Medicaid is for low-income and disabled patients.”
    Well, in theory. But in fact, don’t the majority of the dollars spent go for keeping elderly (largely white) folks in nursing homes?

    The “low income” component allows Trump’s dupes to feel good about cutting off all those lazy parasites. But wait ’til Grandma comes home and requires 24×7 care.

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